How I Found Time

I’m at the doorstep of five months in lockdown. That’s five months in isolation given I live as alone as it’s possible to be. Time, though, I’ve had tons of time. No partner, children, or job. My editing hours should have stacked until they were a tower of productivity.

Not so much.

What I’m going to share this week I hope to be inspirational for anyone struggling. I’m not pitching some foolproof method. I’m also keenly aware my situation is probably different than yours. Even so, I think what’s most important is that I made the effort to find a way to change my attitude.

How did my situation come about? I’m single and was only working part-time because my lungs and immune system were damaged a decade ago. Too, I suffer from a resulting lung disease. Thus, because of Covid-19, I’ve been in lockdown since March 18th.

Last day at work. Photo: CA Hawthorne

Since March, my excursions have been restricted to one early morning shop/week doctor’s appointments, and walks. The remainder of my time is mine.

In March and April I did well adjusting to my new normal. I rearranged, deep cleaned, and edited 3-5 hours/day. Not bad. Not great for someone with all day, though.

My editing hours began to dwindle, though, to about 1-3 hours/day. My mood followed. I’m an INFJ personality type. Purpose is central to our being. I have seven novels to rotate through and am due to give birth to an eighth in November. Yet, it was all going wrong. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation, yet I was wasting it.

Already vulnerable to depression, I plunged into a blackhole in early May. Life became viewing my inactivity from afar through a haze. Despair eroded my sense of purpose, which in turn added to my despair. In an effort to save myself I sought holistic healing that would rekindle my writing passion. 

I took the first step in that direction with yoga on May 31st and the benefits were immediate. My mind cleared, as did my focus. Physically, my frequent neck aches diminished. I started tracking my writing again around mid June, once more putting in 3-4 hours/day. Each day I looked forward to my sessions and was finding enjoyment in my work. I wanted to find more time.

July rolled around. I’d step onto the mat for thirty minutes and it’d become 45 minutes to an hour. My walks became more frequent. My hours spent editing increased to 4-6 hours/day. The month ended and I was stunned to discover July was my most productive editing month—ever. I’d averaged about 5.25 hours/day.

I found myself in an unfamiliar, positive spiral. My flexibility increased, which was a big accomplishment considering my age. I added occasional meditation in August.

By the time I started editing Protecting the Pneuma Key on August 8th I’d become a force to be reckoned with. I’ve stayed off the internet. I leave my phone around the corner from my desk. My average hours have increased to over seven/day.

So, everything is cheery now? Absolutely not. I’ve weathered several difficult incidents. What’s different are the tools I have available to bring myself back to center. Minimizing the internet/social media. Mindfulness. Meditation. Yoga!

Photo: CA Hawthorne

In case anyone is interested, my go-to yogi is Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She also has a website. She’s the perfect match for me. No matter what I need on any give day she has multiple videos available.

Will there be bumps in the road going forward? I imagine so. Life is like that. The difference is I’m better equipped to overcome them. I’m optimistic and reveling in my newfound productivity.

If you’re struggling, if you want to increase your productivity, or both, I hope this has inspired you to reexamine your life. That’s a key first step. Borrow any portion of what I do or find your own magic mix. I’m a work in progress, but it’s working. As my favorite season approaches I couldn’t ask for more than that.

About Christina Anne Hawthorne

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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